But one glance at the large white plump dried beans and I was reminded of a pleasant memory I hold of my mother's family...
I am a teenager, visiting my family in Poland, one household at a time on both my mothers and fathers side. It is my first trip back to Poland.
A Ciocia of mine, from my mothers side, lives in a small village in Wielkopolska, sitting in the middle of Polish fields.
Ciocia has a small apartment, a husband and two children. She also has a garden.
Her small garden feeds her family though out the year. In her garden, my Ciocia grows apples, with which she makes a compote. I ate so many of those apples that summer, that one of my life's goals now, as trivial as it may seem to others, is to make that same compote.
My Ciocia also grows dill, parsley, cucumbers, tomatoes, eggplant, chives, cabbage, and beans, perhaps more but these are the fruits and vegetables I remember.
One day, she took me with her to harvest some of the food she would prepare and preserve for winter.
We walked down the stairs of her small apartment complex, out the wooden door, and into the street.
Down to the wooden fence by a house I could imagine being well over 200 years old, a little before the village's looming Catholic church.
A turn in the road, past a roadside shrine, and we walk down a dirt road passing several other houses, ducks and chickens eying us with a mild curiosity. Flowers decorate yards, bees sing about their sweet summer nectar, butterflies fly away from us.....
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Polish Mama on the Prairie
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